Experiencing the IMDB Top 250

It seems like some goofy college dare, but my wife and I were joking a few years ago about watching all of the movies on the notorious Top 250 of the Internet Movie Database, just to see what it’d be like to do it.  (check it out for yourself here)

Of course, the one obstacle in our way had to do with movie accessibility. You couldn’t rent most of these films on DVD/Blu-ray, and many are foreign films. The whole venture seemed impractical.

But here in 2015, just about all of the films are now available online and can be streamed through multiple channels, primarily Amazon. I just purchased a Roku, and we had another kid, so I really haven’t been sleeping much because, y’know, it’s a baby. It’s now a reality — I can finally tackle this giant list.

Why do this?

I’ve never been a huge movie guy.  Especially recently, films have only been ripoffs of novels and remakes of classics, with the occasional sequel thrown in there.  Nothing seems original.  I’ve given up on going to the theater, fearing disappointment and throwing away money, risking exposure to poor storylines and acting cloaked in a sea of special effects. But I do enjoy a good film, especially one that makes you think when you walk away from it.

The top 250 on IMDB is fascinating to me, because it ranks legendary works alongside obscure titles, and the list is chiseled out by avid moviegoers and film aficionados alike.  Sure, some are sequels, and many are adaptations of books, but there is a degree of respect for movies that thousands of people have voted for and decided, “yes, this is the best movie I’ve ever seen.”

I am aware this is not the most comprehensive list of great movies, nor even the most accurate ranking system. But at the very least, viewing these films will give me a greater appreciation for quality cinema and enrich my understanding of this art. At best, it might change the way I think about myself and the world around me, as many of the films that I’ve already seen tend to do.

I am also aware this list is not static.  My list is based on the chart as shown on August 17th, 2015.

I am not going to put together some elaborate series of reviews either, but reactions and answers to some formulated questions.  Furthermore, all of these films have been reviewed already, and I don’t expect to bring anything novel to the table. Just movies.  See what I did there?

I’ll ask myself a bunch of questions, and I’ll want to answer them immediately:

When and how did I watch this?

Have I seen this film already?

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

What do I know about it now?

What are some themes in the film?

Did this affect me personally?

Why is this ranked #___?

Did my wife watch/like it?

Would I watch it again?

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I’ll probably throw some other thoughts and comments in there to amuse you, or maybe just myself.

I’ll see you on the other side.

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